Blue-green algae advisory issued for lake near Onoway
Published Friday, August 17, 2012 5:07PM MDT
Alberta Health Services officials have issued a blue-green algae advisory for a lake located northwest of Edmonton.
On Friday, officials said testing of the waters in Lac La Nonne had shown toxins related to blue-green algae were present.
As a result, residents and visitors to the lake are asked to take the following precautions:
- Not drink water, or allow pets to drink water from the lake
- Not swim or wade, or allow pets to swim or wade in the lake
- Avoid contact with any blue-green algae deposits washed up on shore
The algae produces a toxin that can lead to serious illness to animals or humans who come in contact with or drink the water – and boiling contaminated water does not remove the toxin.
Officials also said consumption of fish from the lake should be limited.
In the past, AHS officials have advised residents and visitors to not eat any fish from contaminated lakes – however, recently, experts have said there is little evidence to support the warning that fish could be contaminated.
An expert panel is currently studying the effect the algae may have on the fish; results are expected by the end of the summer, at the earliest.
Officials also said the toxin is present in the water, even if a bloom isn’t visible – it’s not an indication that the algae in the lake has cleared up.
Anyone who comes into contact with the algae, or drinks water containing blue-green algae could experience the following symptoms – which can appear within three hours of exposure, and resolve in one to two days:
- Skin irritation
- Sore throat
- Sore red eyes
- Swollen lips
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
Anyone who suspects a health problem related to blue-green algae, or for more information on the algae, is encouraged to call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).